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FAQs on Flasher Wrasses, Genus Paracheilinus Compatibility

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Related FAQs: Flasher Wrasses, & FAQs on: Flasher Wrasse Identification, Flasher Wrasse Behavior, Flasher Wrasse Selection, Flasher Wrasse Systems, Flasher Wrasse Feeding, Flasher Wrasse Disease, Flasher Wrasse Reproduction, & Wrasses, Wrasse Selection, Wrasse Behavior, Wrasse Compatibility, Wrasse Feeding, Wrasse Diseases,  

Habitat plays a huge role...

Mixing Wrasses     4/15/17
Hi Crew!
<Mon Cher>
I have been reading so many different opinions on the subject of mixing wrasses, and my head is spinning.
<Well; tis a HUGE assemblage... some tiny species and one that's near five feet long! Some are meek, cleaners... Others, outright predatory>
Lol. So, I decided to ask someone that I know, and trust. Currently, in my 75 gal, have a Royal Flasher Wrasse (male) along with a couple other small, peaceful fish. I am wanting to get one last fish. Ideally, I was wanting to get a Golden Rhomboidalis (male), but I don't know if he would be too aggressive towards the Royal. I know there is no guarantee with fish, but do you think I would be making a mistake with that mix?
<Do you have any, many females? Intend to get them of either Labrid genus, species? I would definitely do so. IF there are a couple female Cirrhilabrus, I give you good odds that they will get along. W/o the females, about middling likelihood>
Would you recommend a different wrasse, or something like a purple tilefish instead?
<Mmm; Malacanthids aren't easily kept in captivity... really need more room than a 75...>

Thanks for your help, and all you do to help us out! Cheri
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Mixing Wrasses     4/15/17

Thanks for the quick reply. I had not intended to get any female wrasses as I thought that may increase aggression towards my other my other fish.
<Actually; would greatly alleviate it>
In regard to the Tilefish, I understand your points, and I was wondering about the size of tank required because they can grow to 6”. In that regard, I thought it strange that LA suggested a tank size of at least 50 gal.
<Need more room "psychologically"... Almost all sand tilefishes expire early due to stress; or manifestation thereof>
Everything gets along great right now, so I may switch gears, and look into other peaceful fish like the Helfrichi Firefish or other Dartfish.
<These would be better choices>
I don’t think I can get into too much trouble with those..lol Again, thanks for the advice. Cheri
<Cheers. BobF>

Mucus cocoon, Labrid, toxic?    2/15/13
Good morning and thanks for the wonderfully helpful site.  I have gleaned a lot of very helpful information.  I have a question about wrasses. I have a beautiful Dot and Dash Flasher wrasse (LFS description) and one morning I checked on everyone and he was in a mucus cocoon.  It was kind of disgusting to be honest, however he was perfectly content and after he woke up, one of the crabs cleaned it up. No adverse effect on the crab so I thought it was ok.  This past week, one of my Pearly Jawfish decided to check out the cocoon and got stuck, eventually dying in it. 
Have you ever heard of this?
<I have not... other Labroids (related to wrasses), the Scarids (Parrotfishes), are known to produce mucus cocoons, some of which are said to be distasteful to predators... perhaps noxious>
 I have checked all over and have found no information.  I know the cocoons are very toxic, but I don't know how a normally strong (but apparently stupid) fish could not get itself loose.  The fish was basically dissolved within hours.  Bizarre!
<Agreed... and I suspect some other real/direct cause of death here.
Perhaps this Jaw was stung by a coral, a worms, other organism in the system; only succumbing in/near the mucus cocoon>
  Other tank inhabitants are, multi color angel (small), 2 small clowns, the dot and dash flasher wrasse and a small Christmas wrasse.  Also a few random snails (1 turbo, 4 Nassarius) and one small thorny star.  30 gallon set up.  Any info would be great. Thanks!
<Live rock, sand could harbor a myriad of possible sources of death for the Opistognathid. Bob Fenner>

Wrasse Compatibility  1/29/10
Can you please share your thoughts on the wisdom of adding a flasher wrasse ( the carpenter wrasse is the one I am currently considering) to my reef tank that houses a melanurus wrasse.
<If there's room...>
My current tank is a well established 180g reef employing a 125g refugium/sump (split 50/50) and houses a: Scooter Blenny, Royal Gramma, two percula clowns, melanurus wrasse, Flame Angel, Foxface, and Powder Blue Tang.
<This last is my larger/est concern. Is this specimen very/obviously territorial?>
Most of the FAQ's regarding wrasse compatibility deal with fairy and flasher wrasse's which in general seems to be ok to mix but I didn't know if this would apply to the melanurus wrasse in particular and my other fish in general. My hesitation revolves around the docility of the flasher wrasse compared to some of my other fish and whether the two wrasse species can cohabitate. Additionally, WWM routinely recommends keeping the flasher wrasses in harems as opposed to singly. Is this simply a matter of providing an environment where they are more likely to flash or is there an inherent detriment to the health of the fish if kept singly or a matter of mitigating aggression?
<Mostly the former>
With regards,
<And most specimens of Halichoeres melanurus I've encountered have been rather easy-going. I give you very good odds that a Carpenter's would get along here. Bob Fenner>

McCosker's Flasher Wrasse with Cerith and Nassarius snails. - 07/19/08 Hello Crew! Let me start by saying thank you for the excellent job you do! Now for my question. I want to know if the McCosker's Flasher wrasse and Carpenter Wrasse will be compatible with my clean up crew? I have read on several online retailers web sites that this fish is "Reef safe" and will not harm inverts. Is this true? <Almost always the case, yes. Cirrhilabrus and Paracheilinus species by and large feed on "off the bottom" zooplankters> I really enjoy the work that my Nassarius, Cerith and Nerite snails do. They are excellent little scavengers and I don't want to add anything to the system that is going to hunt them down and kill them. The system is a 105 Gallon Half hexagon with a 35 Gallon sump/refugium with Chaeto and Macro growing in the refugium. 4-5" DSB in display tank and refugium, ETSS Reef Devil Skimmer, 1/4 hp Chiller, Mag 18 Return pump with 3x 1/2" water outlets, 4x65watt PC's and approximately 65 Lbs of Live rock. The system is cycled and about 2 months old. I purchased a kit of Copepods and amphipods along with only snails for the clean up crew. My goal is to research all the fish prior to purchasing them so that everyone gets along in a nice little community. Are there any Gobies or blennies that you might also recommend that will not feed on my clean up crew. <Many... see WWM re...> Thank You so Much! Mario from Rancho Cucamonga, Ca. <Welcome, from BobF in very VOGy Kailua Kona>

Cirrhilabrus/Paracheilinus compatibility/harem size    2/16/08 Good morning WWM Crew, <RA> Well, I've been thinking a lot about what exactly I'm going put in my 86g (48"L x 16"W x 26"T). I've been thinking about getting a harem of the smaller (3") wrasses of either of the above genera. First off, would these fish be compatible with a pair of maroon clowns and a BTA? <Mmm, possibly... in a system of this size, shape... there's a very real poss. that a Premnas would kill other fishes in time> My tank is tall, and the top of the live rock barely extends past the bottom half of the tank, giving plenty of open room for the wrasse. Second, how large are harems in the wild generally? <Of the above genera, species? Usually dozens of individuals... some lower "caste" males perhaps only with a few females per> I'm trying to form a biotope, so I'm avoiding all fish that only school/group in very large numbers. How many wrasse could I keep in my tank? <Not many... perhaps a handful here> Well, thanks for reading this. Your crew has been very helpful with me and my countless hypothetical questions. TIA, Random Aquarist <Welcome. Less random BobF>

Re: Cirrhilabrus/Paracheilinus compatibility/harem size   2/17/08 So, I'm guessing it would be best to not mix maroons with wrasse. <We are in agreement> However, I still like the idea of mixing clowns and wrasse. What BTA-hosting clowns would be compatible with a harem of wrasse? <Smaller, easier-going species... particularly tank-bred/reared... Ocellaris, true Perculas... at the top of my choice list. Bob Fenner>

R6: Adding Another Wrasse To My Tank (Not Going to Be Easy) 02/17/08 Lights are back on and the Sixline is after the Solar again, seems like hes on a mission. <<Mmm, yescan be relentless>> Even when the Solar Wrasse finds a hiding place the Sixline relentlessly searches for it. When he finds it he chases around the tank at full speed until a new hiding spot is found... this cycle has repeated itself several times but so far no one seems hurt. Will this settle down in time and if so what signs should I look for? <<Less chasing about>> If not, how long do I wait to try and remove one of the two, which would be decided by which one I can actually catch. <<Sometimes these introductions just dont work out If the Solar wrasse does not/can not feed, if any physical trauma occurs beyond a nipped fin, or if the incessant chasing does not stop in a couple daysI would remove one of these fishes. EricR>>
R7: Adding Another Wrasse To My Tank (Not Going to Be Easy) 02/18/08
Solar is hiding for the last 8 hours or so under some rock and the Sixline seems a little less interested in finding it then before. <<Mmmmaybe a glimmer of hope>> I also re-aquascaped part of the tank to hopefully disorient the Sixline a bit and enforce a truce while they all laid low. <<A good move>> An hour or so after I finished, the Sixline did find the Solar Wrasse in its hiding spot but just swam up to its face and stared it down for a while. This time Solar didn't make a run for it but instead just backed in deeper after the Sixline left. Hope this is a good sign since I really like both fish. All that being said, how long should I wait to see if the Solar comes out and feeds before getting concerned? <<Hard to say, Danny If the fish was introduced shortly after arrival at the LFS then it likely hasnt fed much for days already, if at all, and is in a weakened state from the stresses of capture and transport and will need to feed soon in my opinion (within the next couple days). If this fish was quarantined and feeding/fed well before introduction then it can go a bit longer. EricR>>

Flasher Wrasse - 10/17/06 Hi Bob (or crew), <Hey Art, MacL here with you tonight. Bob managed to miss the earth quake and go diving the lucky man.> I have a 55 gallon reef tank with one Psychedelic Mandarin, one Purple Firefish, two Skunk Cleaner Shrimp and one Fire Shrimp currently residing. I have had a 2.5" male Carpenter's Flasher Wrasse in my 30 gallon quarantine tank for two weeks now. I would like to have more Flasher Wrasses-- I know I'm supposed to add two females, and get them in the display before I add the male-- BUT  I really want to get a male Blue Flasher Wrasse instead (P.  cyaneus). I have two mesh dividers for the quarantine tank, so I would divide it in half, quarantine the Blue Flasher on one side, leave the Carpenter's on the other, so they could see each other, but not have access to one another (the divider is flush with the glass lid, so there would be no jumping over for a smack-down). I would add these two to the display tank at the same time. <You know I've had good luck mixing flasher wrasses in some tanks and bad luck mixing in others. Mostly good luck but just from experience, when I added one male other type wrasse and two female wrasses, I've ended up with one of the females changing to a male. In my 200 plus gallon tank it didn't matter they had plenty of space to get away from each other.  So other than a bit of sparing it worked out fine. In my smaller tanks, it didn't work quite so well.> Is this a recipe for disaster, or is a 55 gallon w/lots of live rock and coral big enough for the two of them to coexist peacefully, without one fish relegated to standing in the corner? I see tanks where people keep many fairy/flasher wrasses, but of course, there could be so many the aggression is diffused. What are my chances of success with just two males, and would this situation likely intensify color in both, and increase flashing behavior or force one of them to repress color? As always, thanks for your time and expert advice-- I have really learned a lot from this site! <Once again I can only speak from experience.  Two males will show for each other but add a female and they show off. Reality is that I'd recommend not having other fish and go for more flashers, they make amazing tank creatures. Definitely the way you are setting up is the way to go. Lots of live rock that they can swim in and out of. Lots of hidey places.  Good luck Art and best wishes. > Art

Flasher Wrasses and Anthiines - 10/03/06 Would Blue Flasher or Carpenter Flashers make suitable tank mates for my Bicolor Anthias? <<I think they would, yes>> Tank is 150 G. I'd like to add 1 male and 2 females. <<Should be fine, though you may want to consider adding an additional female (1 male to 3 females) to spread the interspecific aggression a bit more thinly>> Thanks, Ken Kristofick <<Quite welcome.  Eric Russell>> Need some sanity for my wrasses   1/4/07 Hi- <Hello Nathan, JustinN with you today.> I have a 50gal reef tank. <Ok> Besides a day-night pH fluctuation that bothers me, I have no issues. I have a blue carpet that minds it's business, more than several SPS's, some polyps, 4 shrimp, a host of hermits, a starfish that I forget the name of the Ophiothrix type, 400 Watt 15k augmented with 64 actinic, moon, skimmer, chiller, on and on and on :) I have zero issues in my tank. EXCEPT! Flasher wrasses will not stay alive in my tank. For fish I have a Fridmani Pseudochromis, one Ocellaris clown, an exquisite wrasse and a unknown wrasse of the same genus. <You are very close to, if not already, full on bio-load here.> The Exquisite is a male. I have read that Cirrhilabrus and Paracheilinus can coexist easily. <Certainly, in a large enough setting> These 2 wrasses are such characters and will even let me pet their noses (I know it isn't a nose!) when I feed them. The are very playful and well established. I have tried to put in my tank 2 smaller Paracheilinus wrasses (cyanus and carpenteri) and both died the same way: they looked happy and established, were eating, then the next day they are curled up with labored breathing in the corner only to die no matter what I do (I put them in isolation and it is too late). Honestly, I see them looking ok, eating one minute, then near death 1 hours later. <I would think that both wrasse and the Pseudochromis are all culprits here.> My only guess is that the combination of Paracheilinus being a bit tender and wimpy combined with the territoriality of my Pseudochromis  (it will not allow the flashers near the rock pile during the light hours) are driving these beautiful wrasses out of their mind and they die. But what is odd is that the Pseudochromis never bothers the Cirrhilabrus. <You may just not notice it, or it may be that they're already established. However, I agree that the Pseudochromis is likely the lead culprit, though I would not exonerate the wrasse yet!> I just need someone to tell me my supposition is plausible, or what I might do to remedy it, because I will not let another fish die until I fix the problem (and fixing it maybe giving up on owning a  Paracheilinus). While Paracheilinus are beautiful so it my solid purple Pseudochromis. Could this all be due to the Pseudochromis? If you think so, I might consider trapping him and trading him to another tank. <I would consider your tank pretty close to full as it is, and if its been successful until now, I would continue with your current stocking list. If you cannot upgrade to a larger settings, I would pass on another wrasse. I would only feel comfortable adding some sort of small fish, such as a small goby or Ecsenius sp. blenny into your current arrangement, in fear of tipping the bio-load too far.> Thank you, Nathan Tableman <No problem, Nathan. Hope this helps you! -JustinN>

Mixing flasher wrasse males   2/11/07 Hello to the WWM Crew, <Hi.> Against conventional wisdom, I would like to mix male Flasher Wrasses in my 55 gal. <Well...I think from your disclaimer in the beginning of the sentence you know what my opinion is, especially in his size tank.> reef tank, currently inhabited by  a  2" Purple Firefish, a 1.75" Green Mandarin and a 1.75" <Wrasses....being the efficient microfauna "hunters" that they are should not be laced with dragonets.> Carpenter's Flasher Wrasse. I would like to add a Blue Flasher male and a McCosker's or Filamented Flasher male, depending on what is available. I will put the two new Flashers in my 30 gal. quarantine, with two egg crate dividers (three 10-gallon compartments) layered with plastic mesh gutter guard to prevent injuries and also to prevent small fish from slipping through. The Carpenter's will be easy to trap because of his appetite and curiosity, so I will remove him from the display and add him to one of the three compartments of the QT. With all three Flasher males in the bare (except for PVC pipes) quarantine tank , I plan to remove the dividers after they have grown accustomed to each other and observe what happens before adding them simultaneously to the display. I realize that, even if they get along, the dynamics could all change over time. What are the odds that I can keep three Flasher males peacefully in my 55 gallon (without any of them reverting to females)? <Not likely an alpha will become dominate....is a risk.> I want to see more flashing behavior, and I don't want to add females. Adding more than two Flasher males (to diffuse aggression) is not an option, as the tank will also have two 1" Yellow Assessors and a 1" Candy Basslet.  It would be 8 fishes total, but all small . Will this mix work? <See my above comments.> As always, thank you for your advice. <Anytime.> Art <Adam J.>

Re: Flasher Wrasse Addition....more stocking questions   2/12/07 Hi Adam, <Welcome back Art!> Thanks for answering my question so quickly. <We try our best to get back within a day or so.> Even though I target feed the Mandarin and he eats frozen food like a pig, your point is well taken-- <True, but I am pleased to hear he accepts supplements to his natural eating habits, I'm sure you know this is an exception...a good one.> The Carpenter's Flasher will often snatch food away when I'm target feeding the Mandarin, even though I feed the wrasse at the same time.   <They are built for much more agile/quicker swimming than the dragonet.> It seems like I should abandon the Flasher Wrasses altogether and get a  fish that with eating habits similar to the other tank inhabitants  (again, Purple Firefish, 2 Yellow Assessors, Candy Basslet, Green Mandarin) so there won't be a wrasse to out compete for food of any type. <Well if you already have an established wrasse the is not negatively harming the well-being of his tankmates you may be okay to leave well-enough alone...I would however refrain from adding an additional wrasse.> I am thinking about a small (1.5" body length) Sunburst/Fathead Anthias, because it can be kept singly, doesn't require as much space as other Anthias (my tank is 55 gallons) and has similar eating habits, I think. Do you think this fish would work with the rest of my species list? <Could...yes, the problem with this animal is that they don't ship well and it may be difficult to secure a healthy specimen to begin with but if you can....may be worth your while.> I know the Anthias requires multiple feedings, but how resistant is the Sunburst to parasites (ich and velvet mainly)? <No more susceptible than the animals you already have.....the issue with this animal is it's diet, they can be finicky at times.> Thanks again for your help, <Of course.> Art

Wrasse compatibility  - 02/15/07 Ahoy WWM, <Ryan... do you know Dave of your last name...?>           I have a question about wrasse compatibility. From what I've read I think this sounds alright, just want a professional opinion before I take the plunge. I currently operate a 60 gallon hex w 90 lbs of LR and I am in the final stages of fish stocking. Right now there is a Purple Firefish, a Yasha Hase , and 2 Neon Gobies. I was and still am planning on adding 3 carpenters/ filamented flasher wrasses, (whichever is the easier to acquire as they are both gorgeous fish). My first question is do you think I will be ok with just 2 females? <Mmm, yes> Now here's the kicker I was at my big box LFS tonight and what to my surprise I chance across an exquisite fairy wrasse for 30$. Needless to say it is in my Fuge and  dining on pods 3 hours later (I'm holding off for a possible simultaneous intro). Do you guys see any problems with the flashers and the Filamentosus? <Yes... too likely territorial issues in a small/sixty gallon volume> Or with any of the other fish for that matter. I'm inclined to think I'm alright but I had to be sure. <Is a possibility with your other similarly shaped fishes, yes> Any help would be undeserved and greatly appreciated Ryan W <Mmm... I'd have another tank, alternate, ready. Bob Fenner>

Re: wrasse compatibility  2/16/07 Bob- To answer your question  no I don't know a Dave Wrobel. <Ahh! He worked at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and penned some nice articles and a book on coldwater marine keeping years back> We are rather common here in the Midwest. Hey thanks a lot for the work you and your crew do. Your site has been a huge reason for my success. Best wishes Ryan Wrobel. <Thank you for your kind, encouraging words. Bob Fenner>

Re: Stocking Suggestions for the 34g Red Sea Max... Flasher wrasse sys.  07/26/07 Affect the wrasse psychologically? Please elaborate if possible. Thank you. <The Labrids of this (and most genera) genus are accustomed to a quite large lek territory... where they "dance", display... and can get away from potential predators... RMF>  

Another question on mixing Flasher wrasses   8/29/07 Dear Crew, <Eric> I had previously inquired about mixing six-line and canary wrasses in my soon-to-be-setup 40-gallon breeder aquarium and now have another, different question for the great WWM Crew. The six-line wrasse had a tragic accident, so the previous question is no longer an issue. However, I'm putting together a stocking list for this tank and would like to include two different flasher wrasses: a blue flasher fairy wrasse and a McCosker's wrasse. Would these two be compatible companions in this tank? <Mmm, no... not enough room here> Other possible future inhabitants include a tail spot blenny, a Firefish, and an Ocellaris clown (possibly a second, sometime down the road), with a limit of maybe 5 fish, unless you think 6 might be possible. I have a feeling it would be a bit crowded, though. <Will be... the Firefish would likely perish from stress here> So, what say you, O' Mighty Crew? Can I mix these two flashers? If so, will they cohabitate well with the others I have chosen? Thanks in advance for your excellent advice! Best regards, Eric <Welcome. BobF>

Re: Another question on mixing wrasses   8/30/07Bob, <Eric> Thank you for your reply! It's a bit disappointing to find out that I can't keep both wrasses, since they're both gorgeous fish. But I understand the lack of room to give them their territories. If I were to leave out the Firefish and one of the flasher wrasses, would the remaining 3 fish (the clownfish, wrasse, and blenny) get along? And what other fish would you recommend to fill in the tank? I would like a total of at least 4, if possible, without overcrowding. Thanks again! Eric <Please my friend... read re these mixes on the Compatibility, Systems... subFAQs per group. BobF>

Wrasses for my 58?? Bring on The Wrasses! (Stocking Question) - 11/20/07 Hello WWM crew <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> First, kudos to you for all the wonderful information and help you give out on a daily basis. <Well, thank you kindly! Proud to have been associated with this group for over 5 years. We have amazing people whose love for this hobby and aquatic life is inspiring!> I have a 58 RR that is LPS dominated, mainly with Acans/Micros. <Ahh- you're one of THOSE people! Just kidding- they are beautiful corals! I just laugh because some of the hype that's been attached to them of late.> I currently have 1 Green Banded Goby, 1 Yellow Neon Goby, 1 Red Head Goby 1 small Royal Gramma and 2 Wheeler's Watchman Gobies. <Wow! A great assemblage of some of my favorite little fishes! Sounds sweet!> I would really like to add a wrasse to the tank. I was thinking about 2-3 Carpenter's Flashers or McCosker's in the same numbers. Would this work with my current fish list? <I believe that this could work fine. The smaller Fairy and Flasher wrasses will make fine tankmates for the fishes that you have, and their colors will be stunning, complimenting your coral collection!> If need be I have another home for the Royal Gramma. <This fish would be my only concern. There is a slight possibility that the Gramma will not be as friendly as we'd like. However, the Gramma generally occupies a different strata within the water column of the system than the wrasses do, and may not be an issue. Observe carefully and intervene if needed.> Would this work?? If not could I add one wrasse instead of 2-3? <I think that these wrasses are more comfortable, and display better in small groups. I would not go solo.> Everything I am reading sounds like they are happier and have a better survival rate if housed in small groups. <Cue "Twilight Zone" theme- you read my mind!> Thanks in advance for any help/direction you might be able to give me Patrick <You sound like you're on the right track! I'd love to see pics of this tank when everyone is settled in! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

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